October was an extremely busy month. It is a busy month for many people. We've been around long enough to have a fairly clear sense of the ebb and flow of our Life/Work cycle. With my mobility issues increased this year I may find that there are more extremes in the cycle. However, much of life's journey is predicated by the calendar and our societies chosen ceremonies and holidays. Everyone in Canada experiences Thanksgiving on the second weekend in October, but for Brian and I we also have the Bay Studio tour the weekend before Thanksgiving and our twice yearly gathering of shaman's the weekend after Thanksgiving. It might seem like we could make different choices but the weather certainly impacts our gathering. We know this from years of experience.
This weekend I looked at the calendar for November and thought [with some relief] that while we are still teaching 3 different courses, the level of activities is diminished and there are no medical appointments. We sat down together to have a business meeting. Smile if you like, but yes we do have meetings from time to time. It's important to sit in quiet contemplation and allow thoughts to come and go as one processes choices, but it's also really important to sit down with one's partner and do the same thing! We managed to work through our November schedule and look ahead at preemptive choices for things happening in December. Our chat allowed us to get rid of some weirdness that was hanging over our business like the sword of Damocles. That weirdness was causing stress and seem to be unable to get resolved, yet with some creativity we saw a way to remove it. Boom - balance in a heartbeat restored to at least a couple of issues.
Clarity emerges from contemplation. We've both divvied up some responsibilities and have an action plan. Things certainly make better sense!
One of the areas that I've struggled with this year is self-care. I, as a spiritual counselor, have actually chosen to work with another spiritual counselor over this exact thing. Taking time for self and approaching one's needs with compassion is critical. I can say this empirically to anyone who comes through my door, and speak from experience. Yet my difficulty has been I don't practice what I preach. With so many physical changes I'm the very person who I should have compassion for!
Over the past few weeks I've thought long and hard about what I need to do to embrace my needs and feel compassion that doesn't come across as self-pity. I realize I've been pretty black-and-white about those 2 perspectives. What's come to me is that when I perform ceremony I am enabling the self-care that my soul desperately needs. It's my big "A-ha" epiphany. I can say that, without a doubt, ceremony has been my lifeline to peace.
There are daily, simple ceremonies, and those within the new moon/full
moon cycles... then, there are the seasonal gatherings and 8 private
ceremonies of the year... I've made part of my life's work
to get back the knowledge of some lesser-known, nearly forgotten
ceremonies that are done only once in a lifetime! Ceremony has both
subjective and objective values, as well as intrinsic and extrinsic
worth. For the first time in my professional career, I'm putting it all
together in a course, starting this Thursday evening, and running for 4
Thursday evenings in the month of November. I want those who love
traditional ceremony as much as I do, to gain the same knowledge of
these sacred practices. If this is successful and well-received I might
run it again in the summer. Anyone wanting to attend, just message
me... happy to have you join the group.
However you find your balance, honour the process... Whatever brings you peace, cherish it. Enjoy this balmy weather and hopefully I'll be more on track with my musings now that things are settled a little bit. Blessings to everyone!